Vol. 8, No. 23 – August 19 – September 1, 2015 – Professor Scamp

Scamp“It’s nice to know that help is available if I have a medical problem, or need a lift to the vet”

scamp bath

“ Do short hair dogs need to take a bath daily? I get a little dizzy in the washer-dryer but I look very handsome after”

Thank all of you who attended the FelixNFido adoption event held on Sunday at the Ventura Harbor. It was nice meeting you.

My good friend Victoria Usher wrote the following for me while I was napping, but I made a few comments.

The limit on how many cats residents can own in their home in Los Angeles may soon be relaxed in order to help raise the number of pet adoptions and help prevent felines from being euthanized in very crowded shelters. As of right now, it is illegal to have more than three cats without a kennel permit. In order to change this, a proposal must be made which would have to go through the city’s animal welfare committee and then after that it would need the City Council’s approval. Councilman Paul Koretz, chairman of the city’s Personnel and Animal Welfare and many others are really pushing to move forward with this so that residents can have as many as five cats. There are obviously people that have their doubts about making this change but in the end if it does happen not only will there be more cats in loving homes but there will also be less cats that have to be unnecessarily euthanized in packed shelters. No matter what, it’s all about what’s best for the cats. ( And I’m getting used to cats now that I live with one, they’re not too bad-Scamp).

The Working Cats program helps rescued cats with street-smart skills find homes. But not only will they find good homes, they will find good homes that will put their street smart skills to better use. A perfect example of this would be Pacino, a brown tabby from Los Angeles. Pacino had apparently lived on the streets of Los Angeles for quite some time, always running from danger and never knowing when or where his next meal would come from. But then one day he was turned in at one of the L.A. County animal services shelters. Pacino never thought he would be adopted by anyone; after all he was far too aggressive and distrustful. He never ever suspected that someone like Melya Kaplan who had started the Working Cats program in 1999, would come along looking for a cat just like him with a street-smart attitude. Pacino then became a nighttime warden at the Original L.A. Flower Market, always making sure that rodents never got out of hand. There are many other cats just like him that have also been recruited by an animal rights nonprofit to find homes in places that could use cats street-smart qualities. Because of the Working Cats program, all kinds of cats are rescued from different shelters and sent to locations such as private homes, businesses and schools. The Working Cats program has placed about 500 cats in about 50 locations. That is absolutely wonderful. These are the types of programs that we need more of in this world. Not all animals are alike, just as not all of us humans are alike. We all just want to find a place that we belong. The Working Cats program has done that for these cats and it’s a beautiful thing.

There has been a recent new study of ancient wolf DNA that is now telling us that dogs actually split from wolves as many as 27,000 to 40,000 years ago instead of 11,000 to 16,000 years ago, as earlier genome research had previously suggested. The genetic material used for this analysis was a small piece of rib bone, which belonged to a male wolf that lived on Siberia’s Taimyr Peninsula. During an expedition to this region, Love Dalen, first author Pontus Skoglund of the Harvard Medical School and their colleagues found this specific genetic material. At first they were all unsure if the sample came from a modern or ancient wolf, but radiocarbon dating later revealed that the animal did live about 35,000 years ago. After studying the animal’s DNA and then comparing it to genomes of modern wolves and dogs, the team all figured that there must have been a three-way split between the Taimyr, dog and wolf linages. (They must have all likes eating because that is my favorite thing to do, besides writing of course-Scamp)

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